G2 Esports was crowned champions defeating Team Liquid in the final of the prestigious, BLAST Premier World Final, the largest Counter Strike esports tournament to be held in the Middle East at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena.
The five-day tournament, staged in the UAE capital following a landmark three-year partnership between BLAST and AD Gaming, a government initiative pioneering gaming and esports in Abu Dhabi, attracted eight of the world’s best esports organisations and had a prize pool of USD $1 million.
The event also included an on-stage show-match for some of the best local teams including Team Falcons and Nasr Esports as Abu Dhabi raised the bar for esports in the Middle East. It was a landmark moment as it was the first time an elite global tournament was held in Abu Dhabi with the staging of the BLAST Premier World Final.
In the final, Justin Savage (jks) gave a powerhouse performance to lead the G2 team to victory in the thrilling encounter, ending the year as Counter Strike World champions.
He said: “It’s a great feeling to win the World Final. We were all in a positive mindset this week and everyone played out of their minds and are happy to have won. The crowd was really good today and the Etihad Arena was really cool. All the fans really made a lot of noise which created a vibrant atmosphere for this match.”
Charlotte Kenny, Managing Director of BLAST Premier, said “The BLAST Premier World Final has established itself as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the esports calendar and by staging it for the first time in Abu Dhabi, we delivered a spectacle that showcased the very best of esports.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a bright future for esports, especially in this region. We hope people have been inspired by what they’ve seen at the Etihad Arena and take an interest in gaming or pursue a career in this exciting and thriving industry.”
The event aligned with AD Gaming’s wider strategy and commitment to aggregate Abu Dhabi’s drive to build a thriving gaming and esports ecosystem and continue to promote the city as a global gaming hub.
James Hartt, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development at AD Gaming, said “The BLAST Premier World Final delivered live, arena scale, esports excitement on a level not seen before in the region. The passionate gaming community and esports fans were left blown away by the scale of production and intense competition. Congratulations to the entire BLAST team for putting on such a spectacle and a big thank you goes to the fans, teams and organisers for making this event such an outstanding success.”